Koerner: The ‘Most Yardage’ Props With Betting Value for NFL Wild Card Weekend
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: (left to right) Ezekiel Elliott (21), Mitchell Trubisky (10), DeAndre Hopkins (10).
- One offshore sportsbook is offering odds for which players will accumulate the most rushing, passing and receiving yards during the NFL's wild-card weekend.
- Ezekiel Elliott is the favorite to post the most rushing yards, while Andrew Luck and DeAndre Hopkins are the favorites for the passing and receiving categories, respectively.
The playoffs are here, and while we’re still providing our Action Network positional rankings and plenty of DFS content and projections over at FantasyLabs, I’ll be digging into more props analysis, too.
If you’re intimidated by betting props, don’t be. We’ve got a great prop tool over at FantasyLabs that leverages our industry-leading projections.
I’ll use those same projections to highlight where there’s betting value on various props posted ahead of wild-card weekend.
Let’s start with the “most yardage” props.
All odds as of 9 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Most Rushing Yards
Which player will have the most rushing yards during wild-card weekend?
To no surprise, Ezekiel Elliott is a huge favorite here. The book likely had to inflate his odds a bit; he’d get hammered at anything greater than +200. The Cowboys should give him at least 25 touches against the Seahawks this week, especially since controlling time of possession and limiting turnovers is paramount to winning playoff games.
But that use might not all be as a pure runner: The Cowboys used Elliott much more in the pass game this season. He saw career highs in receptions (77) and receiving yards (567).
Heading into this season, Zeke had been given 20 or more carries in 84% of his starts. This season he saw 20-plus carries in only 47% of his starts.
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks have their own version of Zeke in Chris Carson. They will likely gameplan him to get a ton of carries and utilize Mike Davis as the pass-catching back.
This allows Carson’s rushing-yard ceiling to be quite high. This was clear in how he closed the regular season, posting more than 115 rushing yards in each of his last three games.
They wisely adjusted their Carson line from +800 to +700 on Thursday morning, but there’s still a little value at the new number, as I make the fair odds +676.
The only other value at the moment would be Marlon Mack at +900. Mack took over as the Colts’ workhorse back around mid-season after spending the first several games dealing with a hamstring issue.
Mack is never a lock for 20-plus touches, but if the game script goes in his favor, we have seen him put up big rushing numbers this year with four games of 115-plus rushing yards and two of 130-plus.
He has the ceiling to warrant a light bet at 9-1 odds.
Bets with value: Chris Carson (+700) and Marlon Mack (+900)
Most Passing Yards
Which player will have the most passing yards during wild-card weekend?
There doesn’t appear to be any value in this market yet. Andrew Luck is close and if the book takes in more money on other quarterbacks and moves his price to +350.
I’d bet Luck at that number, but I’m not sure it’ll get there, as he’d probably be a pretty popular wager.
Another QB to keep an eye on: Mitch Trubisky. His odds could drift a bit, but remember, he has a home matchup against the Eagles. While the Bears should be able to win by playing solid defense and running the ball with Jordan Howard/Tarik Cohen, there are scenarios under which Trubisky is forced to throw a bit more.
The Eagles secondary is very susceptible to allowing massive passing yard totals. In Week 14, they gave up 455 passing yards to Dak Prescott, then they allowed 339 yards to both Deshaun Watson and Jared Goff in back-to-back games.
The Bears have two of their top wide receivers in Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller listed as questionable for this weekend. If both end up playing and Trubisky’s odds drift past +800, he’s worth a light bet.
Bets with value: None right now, but keep an eye on the odds for Andrew Luck and Mitch Trubisky.
Most Receiving Yards
Which player will have the most receiving yards during wild-card weekend?
This is another market where we may need to wait for some line moves for value to open up.
DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton will probably get enough action that their odds are unlikely to drift up to a point where it’ll be +EV. But one thing you can do is monitor the status of Allen Robinson and Doug Baldwin.
I assume both will end up suiting up, but if either has a setback or is ruled out, I would rush to this market and bet on either Hopkins and/or Hilton, as their odds will quickly shorten with one of the receivers being scratched. You’d have to get the bet in before they take it off the board.
Another wrinkle to consider: Robinson’s questionable status could cause his odds to drift to +2500 or worse. He becomes an interesting bet at that number if 1) He’s officially declared as ready to play and/or 2) If one of his injured teammates (Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel) are ruled out.
You should not place a wager on Robinson until his health comes into clearer focus; the rules for this wager clearly state that “All wagers have action,” if you bet on a player who’s ruled out, you’re SOL.
This is a situation to monitor and will require quick action as soon as any news breaks on the statuses of the Bears receivers.
Bets with value: None right now, but keep an eye on the odds for DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton and Allen Robinson.